Birmingham to Host UK's First Dota 2 Major

By Laura Kate Dale on at

If you're a UK Dota 2 fan who's never had a chance to attend a major tournament - due to, you know, them all being held elsewhere in the world - then rejoice! This year's Dota 2 Major is coming to the UK for the first time, and ESL one Birmingham is taking place at the Arena Birmingham on 25-27th May 2018.

The event will see 12 of the top Dota 2 teams fighting for their share of 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8, plus a prize pool of US $1 Million. Six of the twelve teams will be directly invited, while the other six will be selected by taking part in online tournaments for players in North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia and China.

“This is a dream come true for the ESL UK team and a fantastic win for the UK scene,” says James Dean, managing director at ESL UK. “Dota 2 was the very first tournament we ran just after starting up in 2012. We are honoured to have this opportunity and hope to make the Dota 2 community extremely proud.”

Birmingham has previously hosted ESL events, including ESL Arena at the NEC. The Brummies are so happy about this one though that even the mayor's pretending to know what a Dota is.

“It’s tremendous news for the city to be playing host to such a prestigious international esports event,” says Andy Street, mayor of the west midlands. “Birmingham is renowned for major sporting events such as the World Indoor Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games, so we very much look forward to welcoming the Dota 2 community. As the second largest city in the UK, Birmingham has a huge amount to offer and hosting the UK’s first Dota 2 Major adds to the city’s fascinating history.”

Does it now! Can't fault the guy's optimism. The ESL One will also be accompanied by a wider Birmingham-based festival celebrating Dota 2, with details on exactly what this involves to follow.

The press release also included some 'notes to editors' which are rather amusing, because someone in the office has clearly been given the job of coming up with facts about Birmingham. It starts off pretty banal but by the end is so desperately scrabbling for anything vaguely related to the midlands that you can't help but smile.

Birmingham is a city in the West Midlands, England
Birmingham’s population is estimated at 1,124,600, second largest in the UK
Birmingham is a major transport hub for the UK, with fast and frequent train services to London and other UK cities.
Flights from Birmingham International Airport offer over 150 destinations around the world
ESL UK ran a Dota 2 tournament online launching OD Pixel’s career who is originally from Leicestershire
The first offline Dota 2 event was an invitational held at Epic.LAN 12 in Kettering hosted by Machine and casted by Pyrion Flax and Durka

Who knew that OD Pixel is originally from Leicestershire! I wonder where he's from now.

Anyway, the tournament looks like it will be pretty huge, so this is a great chance to see some large-scale eSports up close. Tickets go on sale Thursday at 11am UK, and range in price from £19 to a whopping £139. You can find more information and book tickets here.